Small Cookie Sunday: Russian Tea Cakes


Cookies have grown a bit since I was little. Actually they have grown a lot. Quite a large amount. And it just might be a good thing to go back to small bites. Delicious little bits of luscious crunch and tastiness, minus the burden of excessive calories and guilt. Small portions, enough for a taste, not enough to make a permanent impact.


So my project for a year is to make some fun little cookies. This is the first post of twelve, each featuring a new cookie recipe and a different way to package them. If YOU have a favorite recipe you would like to share, feel free to send it in, and photos if you have them. I would love to share what other people are doing in the world of small cookies.

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Small Cookies #1
For your Mothers – all of them!

The heart and soul of a mother is her child. She loves nothing more than seeing her wonderful child’s face. How I do know this, having enjoyed an untolled number of dreamlike days watching my babies grow, play, learn; go to school, go to college, get married, have babies of their own… and again watch my next round of babies grow… The most wonderful gift for a mother on Mother’s Day is the gift of her child, a gift from her child, a photo of her child. Nothing more is needed.


Here’s a delicious crumbly cookie that children can make with help from an adult or older sibling. These delicate little cookies – my very favorite – are known all over the world. They are called Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cakes, and Greek Kourambiethes. In Austria they are Kipfel; in Bulgaria, Mandulas Kiflik; in Ukraine, Rohlichky. And in the U.S., almond butter balls or snowballs. Use real butter for the full effect.

Small Cookies Sunday: Russian Tea Cakes
Author: Evermine
Serves: 4 dozen
  • 1 -1/2 cups salted butter, very soft
  • 4 -1/2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 -1/2 cups sliced almonds, roasted
  • about 1/2 box powdered sugar to roll cookies in
Ahead of time, set up the powdered sugar station:
  1. Use two small paper lunch sacks, one inside the other.
  2. Pour about 1/2 box of powdered sugar in the doubled bag.
  3. Place the bag on a large sheet of wax paper or newspaper on the counter.
  4. [url href=””][img src=”” width=”960″ height=”1280″ class=”alignnone size-full” title=”Small Cookie Sunday: Russian Tea Cakes” alt=”Small Cookie Sunday: Russian Tea Cakes”][/url]
Make the cookies:
  1. Stir together the butter, almond extract and sugar until thoroughly mixed. You do not need a mixer or food processor.
  2. Then stir in the flour, salt and nuts until well blended.
  3. Form into one-inch balls (very important that they are all the same size – measure with a ruler as you make them).
  4. Refrigerate until firm. This is important as it helps keep them from flattening out during baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 18 minutes or until just barely beginning to turn brown on the bottom.
  6. Remove from oven, place on counter or wire rack and allow to cool for four minutes.
  7. Carefully place the cookies in the bag, close the bag firmly and turn the bag upside down, then right side up, to distribute the powdered sugar throughout. Repeat a time or two. Handle the cookies gently or they will break.
  8. Turn the bag upside down over the large sheet of paper, and gently pour the cookies and powdered sugar out.
  9. Place the cookies on a tray, and put the remaining powdered sugar back in the bag for the next batch.
  10. Repeat until all cookies are baked and sugared.
  11. Allow to cool thoroughly, at least overnight, before packaging.


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For packaging:

  • Small kraft gift boxes, 3” x 3” x 2” high. The cookies fit perfectly in these boxes if you make the balls of dough 1” round, no larger.
  • Tag shape 12, Simple Chevron style, grapefruit
  • White satin ribbon
  • Wax paper or parchment paper to line the inside of the boxes


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Avatar photo Jeanne Williamson (138 Posts)

Jeanne and her husband David launched My Own Labels in January of 2000. It was a spin-off of their successful graphic design firm, plus it allowed Jeanne to incorporate her love of baking, making, sewing and creating. Today David and Jeanne continue to be the heart of the operation both creatively and practically.

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